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Jogging: Alamoana Shopping Center

Jogging: Alamoana Shopping Center

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La Val’s Pizza

La Val’s Pizza

Laval’s – located in Berkeley – seriously offers the very fresh, very best thin crust – and my favorite is tomato-less pizza, Pesto Veggie Primavera. This place is a student mecca -so the price is incredibly affordable, but mega mega good. They offer dining, take-out and delivery. And they have a comfortable sitting area – outside – perfect for a first date.

Another La Val’s favorite is Shrimp Alfredo pasta which contains sautéed shrimp, mushrooms, and garlic in Alfredo sauce. I’ve also ordered my own custom pizza by mixing two or three or more toppings.

www.lavals.com
1834 Euclid Avenue
(between Hearst Ave & Ridge Rd)
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 540-9333

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Favorite Song…

Favorite Song…

This is a picture taken at the Kumari Ghar, which means house, in Nepali.

Its a beautiful palace sandwiched in the center of Kathmandu City in Nepal. Kumari means virgin and every year a virgin girl (pre-pubescent) is choose from the Skhaya caste (Nepal has a dozen or more castes). Her family, in return, is paid a handsome sum…enough, I’ve been told the large sum (comparatively) feeds her entire family for life.

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Manhattan Expresso Coffee

Manhattan Expresso Coffee

photo-20

Espresso coffee soda – so Italian isn’t it? I found this drink at Russo, an Italian supermarket in Reading, PA. The Manhattan Expresso Coffee drinks aren’t readily available everywhere, so finding them at Russo was a total treat.

The family owned business sells just about everything…drinks, dairy, desserts, extra virgin olive oil, pasta sauce, deli and the best italian meat imported exclusively from southern Italy. They carry La Porta Pasta, Muraca jarred vegetables and spreads, Montano Espresso and delicious canned veggies from SALPA.

I became a bit nostalgic walking along the aisle and ended up buying some rolls, provolone, salami and had the best lunch sandwich.

Russo Food and Market
1150 Bern Road
Wyomissing, PA 19610
610-898-1918
Fax: 610-898-7876

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Post Christmas Shopping

Post Christmas Shopping

phtoI bought this leather jacket at a store called Therapy in the Mission(SF). It was my birthday  so  I got 10% off from the total retail price.  Great service + great price = fun place to shop!
545 Valencia St
(between 16th St & 17th St)
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 865-0981
www.shopattherapy.com
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My Favorite Motorcycle Accessory

My Favorite Motorcycle Accessory

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I took Lisa’s Introduction to Motorcycle class at SF City College and was struck by her teaching style. She is extremely proficient in her field (knows the inside/out of mechanics) and at the same time held her own in a room full of men. At times, the boys did throw some lewd questions her way, but she answered them with a smile and professionalism. If you are a lover of anything to do with motorcycles, I would HIGHLY recommend signing up for one of her classes.

How did your passion for riding, fixing and ‘creating’ motorcycle start?

I got started as a motorcycle mechanic because I worked at a motorcycle shop, rode a motorcycle and had an interest in learning how motorcycles worked. For years, my life was motorcycles, working on bikes, going on rides, then hanging out and talking about bikes when I wasn’t working on or riding them.

Do you still own a body shop? If not, what was your typical day like as an owner of a body shop?

Before I started teaching at CCSF in the Automotive/Motorcycle department, I worked at two of the local shops in San Francisco and had my own motorcycle business. For anyone wanting to start their own shop I would recommend having a lot of experience working on bikes first. It is also good to specialize in a particular bike, so you don’t lose a lot of time figuring out the subtleties of each motorcycle.

How did you you get started as an instructor at CCSF?

For years, I was like many folks in San Francisco always taking night classes in whatever subject I had an interest in. After I moved to the Bay view and had my own garage I used to volunteer as a student teacher in the Motorcycle program because I loved the people and the environment at the Evans campus. Soon after that I started a teaching the Moto 60 class.

What was the biggest challenge/s in teaching?

The biggest challenge I had as a teacher was overcoming my stage fright. Each semester it has gotten easier to be in front of the class. For me, teaching the motorcycle class blends some of the things I love most; motorcycles, people, community, mechanics, and sustainability all come together in the class. It feels good to give what I have and have so much come back from my students. Every semester, I watch students come to class eager to learn how to work on motorcycles and by the end of the semesters the students are actively engaged fixing motorcycles and know a lot about how they work. Watching them become empowered is really what it is all about.

What classes do you teach at CCSF?

At CCSF right now I am teaching an Auto 50 class and two Moto 80 classes. I love being at CCSF.

The Usuals…

Why do you do what you do? Because I love it.

What makes you want to wake up in the morning?

My two year old son, Loram, wakes up at sunrise daily.

Who is your inspiration?

Myles Horton, founder of the Highlander school, activist, socialist, and teacher; who influenced many great leaders, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, is someone who I feel inspired by. His ideas on community empowerment and strategies for liberation are ideas that I try to incorporate into my teaching style.

If you were given the chance to relive your life all over again, who would you be?

Adeline or Augusta VanBuren, the first women to ride across country on motorcycles in 1916.

What is your favorite restaurant?
Burma Superstar

Your three rules to live by?

Practice presence, patience and love

Your favorite brand of motorcycle?

I don’t have a “favorite” motorcycle. I appreciate many dissimilar aspects of different motorcycles. I love Japanese motorcycle for their reliability. European motorcycles for their styling.

Your city/country of origin?

Salt Lake City, Utah

Your proudest accomplishment?
Being a single mother of two amazing boys.

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Sexy Black Dress

Sexy Black Dress

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Shopping for the perfect black dress at 440 Brannan Studio…

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San Francisco Night View

San Francisco Night View

day

San Francisco at day v.s. night…

night_0775

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My Three Cups of Tea

My Three Cups of Tea

I love to sip PG Tips tea in the morning.  I also drink at least three cups of Yamamotoyama Green Tea throughout the day. Long before beauty and health editors touted the benefit of drinking tea, I was a step ahead! Teas are tastier, full of aromatic anti-oxidants and  I support business owners who take risks to be on the forefront of the American tea culture…which I can say was non-existent before Jesse Jacobs came along. Bravo Jesse!

2Samovar Tea Lounge , the brain child of Jesse Jacobs, is one place where I go to taste new tea flavors, bite into mouth-watering desserts and be a part of the burgeoning tea movement. To date, Samovar is home to over 50 of the world’s finest teas (i.e. many of which are organic and fair trade certified) served alongside funky-fine internationally traditional food pairings.

Samovar Tea Lounge was voted a Top 10 Tea in America by USA Today, and has recently been highlighted in publications as Wall Street Journal, CNN, New York Times, Bon Appetite, Food & Wine, Forbes.com, SmartMoney.com, Lonely Planet, Wired.com, and many others.

What are some new flavor of tea/s slated for the next few months/year?

Earl Lavender

Origin: Organic, fair trade black tea and organic lavender flowers blended with natural essential oils of bergamot and lavender in the U.S.

Flavor Profile: A delightful twist on an enduring classic, with rich notes of malt, chocolate and tannin, and all the brightness and freshness of citrus and lavender.

Tea Story: Earl Grey is one of the most classic teas in existence, and some say it is the most popular flavored tea in the world. Earl Lavender elaborates on the Earl Grey theme of black tea with essential oil of bergamot (a type of citrus akin to tangerine or kumquat) by adding compact, potent lavender blossoms to the brew. There are hundreds of variations on this elemental blend – Lady Grey, Earl Grey Cream, Earl Green, Imperial Earl Grey and so on – but this simple twist is our favorite of them all. It has an enchanting appearance, with golden tips and green-violet flowers dappling the deep black tealeaves. The aroma of the dry leaves is extraordinary, like complex, juicy notes of bergamot and tangerine zest in the lavender fields of Provence. The brew is a rich, coppery garnet that reveals the boldness of the organic, fair trade black tea at its base. Malt, chocolate and tannin swell on the palate and are accented by the sharpness of citrus, delicate floral notes and a surprisingly full, velvety mouth feel. The aftertaste is floral, full and lasting, with hints of orange peel and copper. The result is a new level of complexity and dimension in the Western world’s classic flavored tea.

Food Pairings: Earl Lavender pairs similarly to Earl Grey, but with an added floral complexity. It is great on its own or with a hint of sugar. Traditional afternoon tea sweets, such as black currant or raisin scones with Devonshire cream, English trifles, custards, fresh fruit tarts, strawberry shortcake and lightly flavored shortbread are all divine with Earl Lavender. It’s also fantastic paired with chocolate sweets (such as vanilla-iced chocolate pound cake, dark chocolate truffles or chocolate chess pie), unadorned fresh fruits or hearty brunch foods (such as flavorful quiches, buttery, savory pastries or rich fruit pastries).

Cinnamon Stonefruit

Origin: Organic cinnamon, organic, fair trade hibiscus, organic currants, organic licorice root and natural plum flavor blended in the U.S.

Flavor Profile: A touch of woody sweetness, the bright tartness of red plum and nuances of cranberries and currants with a tart-spice finish.

Tea Story: Organic cinnamon, hibiscus, currants and licorice are blended with natural plum essence for a complex yet gutsy, caffeine-free drink reminiscent of Gluhwein, a spiced, warm German red wine with apple cider. Notes of cinnamon stick, cinnamon-laden, stewed McIntosh apple and hibiscus are in the nose and the aftertaste. Shake gently before each brewing for a balanced infusion.

Food Pairings: Like Gluhwein, Cinnamon Stonefruit pairs well with Weiner schnitzel and sauerkraut. It can also handle rich, buttery cheeses, like warm Brillat-Savarin cheese with almonds, or simple vanilla desserts like pound cake with a vanilla bean glaze.

1The Usuals…

Why do you do what you do?
I am in the business of creating peaceful living, through tea.

What makes you want to wake up in the morning?
The sunrise of a new day.

Who is your inspiration?
The President.

If you were given the chance to relive your life all over again, who would you be?
President Obama.

What is your favorite country?
The United States

Your three rules to live by?
Have fun, make a difference for the better, breathe.

Your must-have travel item?
Pilot Pen G2 mini in Black, and the BackPocket Molskine unlined journal

Your city/country of origin?
Boston, Massachusetts

Your proudest accomplishment?
My son.

A special thanks to Jesse P. Cutler from JP Cutler Media for being such an awesome person. Publicists rock! Read more of my stories on my love for tea.

Oolong Tea

http://www.diiver.com/?p=1416

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Cafe Venezia

Cafe Venezia

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This is probably one of the few place in Berkeley, CA that has authentically good Italian food, ambiance and Diiver approved service. The food is delicious, the drinks are mixed just the right way and the service is top notch. The interior of the Venezia invokes being in Venice with laundry hanging on lines, pigeons on balconies and beautiful murals. Currently on weeknights, they offer a Prix Fixe Special Menu (Monday – Thursday, 5:30 – 9:00 pm) 3 courses – $20.
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